Community Participation Among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses Leaving Jail

  • Amy Blank WilsonEmail author
  • Stacey L. Barrenger
  • Eugene Brusilovskiy
  • Jeffrey Draine
  • Mark S. Salzer
Original Article


Studies have found that higher levels of community participation are associated with a number of positive outcomes such as increased recovery and quality of life. People with serious mental illnesses (SMI) leaving jail face a number of barriers that limit their ability to participate in community activities. In this paper we examine whether the combined experience of mental illness and recent discharge from jail furthers the community isolation that is already experienced by individuals with serious mental illnesses. This analysis found that people with SMI recently released from jail had significantly lower levels of community participation in terms of overall number of community participation days and activities, number of time spent in activities individuals identified as important, and on measures of sufficiency related to the time spent engaged in these activities. Community participation is a key component of community re-integration for people with SMI leaving jail. The results of this study show that services for people with SMI leaving jail need to include interventions that foster engagement in community based activities.


Community participation Mental illnesses Incarceration 



The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) grant H133B100037 (Salzer, Principal Investigator).  NIDRR is now the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this work do not necessarily represent the policy or indicate endorsement of any federal government agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer India Pvt. Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy Blank Wilson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stacey L. Barrenger
    • 2
  • Eugene Brusilovskiy
    • 3
  • Jeffrey Draine
    • 4
  • Mark S. Salzer
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Silver School of Social Work, Ehrenkranz CenterNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health ProfessionsTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University Collaborative On Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric DisabilitiesTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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